CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Department of Health is reminding Wyoming families to test homes for radon to see if a potentially dangerous health risk exists.
Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless and dangerous gas found in many places, including homes. Radon occurs naturally as a radioactive gas released from the element radium, and is found in rocks, soil and water.
“As radium in the soil naturally degrades, it can seep up into homes, get trapped inside and build in intensity,” Star Jones, Wyoming Cancer Program outreach and education supervisor, said in a news release. “All homes have radon; however, with higher levels, the risks become a health concern.”
An elevated level of radon is considered anything over 4 picocuries per liter of air and should be fixed. Jones said while there is no safe radon level, reducing exposure to the gas can also reduce the linked risk of cancer.
“Radon is recognized as the second leading cause of lung cancer,” Jones said. “Ongoing exposure to higher, more dangerous radon levels can be reduced with testing and home modifications.”
The Wyoming Cancer Program has low-cost radon test kits available for purchase. For more information or to obtain a radon test kit, visit www.health.wyo.gov/publichealth/prevention/cancer/radon.